Vazhakkai Kola Urundai: Raw Bananas Shine In This Chettinad Dish

Plantains and raw bananas are a big part of many global cuisines. They provide a lot of dietary fibre and starch to bulk up a dish. They’re often used as a meat alternative because when cooked they have a firm, but succulent consistency, similar to meat. The other plus point is that they’re also dairy and gluten-free. The fibre content of plantains is higher than those of ripe bananas. Yellow banana is high in sugar whereas green banana is high in starch and moreover, raw bananas are a very good source of potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

Vazhakkai Kola Urundai is a dish from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu and utilises the full spectrum of the raw banana’s capabilities. There are other versions which feature chicken or mutton instead, but duw to the ample availability of plantains, these ones are more common. These small kebab-type balls are enjoyed on all occasions but are especially preferred as a snack. If you do want a new meatball option though, these would make a great choice too.


  • 2 raw bananas/plantains
  • 10-12 pearl onions
  • 5 garlic pods
  • ¼ roasted Bengal gram
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


  • Wash and trim the ends off the bananas, cut them into pieces and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Once cooked and cooled, peel off the skins.
  • In a kadhai heat a spoon of oil and add the fennel seeds, let them sizzle and then add the garlic, dried red chillies, onions, green chillies and turmeric. Salt to taste and saute till the onions start to soften.
  • Add the roasted gram and bananas to the mixture.
  • Turn off the heat and add the coconut. Stir well to mix all the flavours.
  • Cook completely and then add all the ingredients to a mixer and grind into a thick paste.
  • Transfer this to a bowl and start shaping it into balls.
  • Heat a deep pan with a few inches of oil for frying.
  • Drop in the balls and fry until dark brown.
  • Serve hot for a snack or starter.